Tag Archives: Marvel Comics Horror Characters

EARLY BLADE THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Blade black & whiteAs Halloween Month continues here’s a look at the very early years of  the Marvel Comics horror character Blade the Vampire Slayer, who debuted in 1973. In retrospect I prefer the original “look” for this dynamic figure: the long coat, the bandolier of six teakwood knives and the green-hued “photo-optic visor” aka goggles aka biker shades. I’ve never liked swords for vampire slaying so the wooden knives used by Blade back then appeal to me more.

We’ll skip over the stories about Eric Dickersonalleged legal fights with the original creator of Blade, fights that eventually necessitated the changes in Blade’s look and trademark weaponry. Suffice it to say that the 1970s Blade strikes me as an “Indiana Jones of horror” with a vintage Pulp Magazine vibe. And football player Eric Dickerson would have made a perfect cinematic Blade if a movie had been done in the early 1980s, right after Raiders of the Lost Ark. With Pam Grier as Safron Caulder and Oliver Reed as Deacon Frost.

Drac 10TOMB OF DRACULA Vol 1 #10 (July 1973)

Title: His Name Is … Blade

Comment: The very first appearance of the original Blade came in the 10th issue of Tomb of Dracula, along with Ghost Rider one of Marvel’s longest lasting horror comics of the 1970s. The title villain/ antihero was THE Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel.

Blade made his badass debut by saving innocent British victims from three vampires who served Dracula. After killing the trio, Blade trailed Drac himself to a luxury liner loaded with the wealthy and the powerful. The vampire king planned to use the partying passengers as a blood supply AND as a cadre of Renfields to further his plans.

Eric Dickerson 2Our vampire slayer arrived in time to save all but a few of the “beautiful people” from Dracula.

After a battle royal between Blade and Drac, the Count escaped while Blade evacuated the surviving passengers to save them from explosives planted on the ship by one of Dracula’s thralls.    Continue reading

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THE MOST HALLOWEENISH WEREWOLF BY NIGHT COVERS

Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at pop culture mammoth Marvel Comics’ long(ish) running horror series Werewolf by Night.

Werewolf 1WEREWOLF BY NIGHT Vol 1 #1 (September 1972)

Title: Eye of the Beholder

Villains: Marlene Blackgar, whose horrible gaze turns people to stone, and her monstrous creation Strug

Comment: After a few issue tryout in Marvel Spotlight, 18 year old Jack Russell (really Russoff), the titular character, got his own title. He was the son of a European nobleman and the latest inheritor of the family’s curse of lycanthropy. A curse he sought a cure for.

His adventures were often like a comic book version of Paul Naschy’s Waldemar Daninsky werewolf movies from Spain.

Werewolf 2WEREWOLF BY NIGHT Vol 1 #2 (November 1972)

Title: The Hunter and the Hunted

Villain: Mark Cephalos, a dying inventor wanting to steal the werewolf’s life-force.

Comment: The werewolf battles surfers, police, a shark and the aforementioned mad inventor while Jack’s girlfriend Terri (no last name ever given since she wasn’t around long) helps him seek a cure for the family curse. Continue reading

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TALES OF THE ZOMBIE AND OTHER HORRORS

tales-of-the-zombie-2As always October is one long celebration of Halloween here at Balladeer’s Blog. The hulking undead figure in the picture is Simon Garth, the title character in Tales of the Zombie from Marvel Comics. Marvel still hasn’t properly used their horror figures, with just Blade the Vampire Slayer (Debut Year 1973) and the Ghost Rider (Debut Year 1972) getting treatment on the big and small screens.

For additional pics and my in-depth examination of Tales of the Zombie, Satana the Devil’s Daughter and three others Continue reading

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